here i am

Very early one morning long ago a mother awoke. She packed up her four year old son's clothes, made a lunch for him and for herself and set off. Long ago this mother had made a promise at the altar of the Lord. Now it was time to honor her promise.

Have you ever made a deal with God? Have you been so frustrated with circumstances you cried out to God? You promised if he would answer your prayer you would return something to him. That's what this mom did. Maybe you know her. Her name is Hannah and her son's name was Samuel.

In a remarkable testimony to Hannah's faith, we see her honoring her promise. She took her son to the temple far away. She entrusted Samuel to Eli, the aged priest who had called Hannah out for appearing to be drunk as she poured out her heart in agony. Now he would be her substitute as the child's counselor and caregiver. Ouch!

I know of very few moms who would be able to have the integrity of Hannah. Look up Samuel 1 to read her story. Hannah honored the Lord and so did her son. When God called Samuel to serve him, Sam's response was, "Here I am, Lord." Mom had taught him to be ready to serve his Savior any time, any place. He had learned his lesson well.

The rest of her life God richly blessed Hannah because she understood her child belonged to the Lord. That doesn't mean she loved Samuel any less. It means that she loved the Lord more. Later, God especially honored Samuel as the prophet of Israel. He filled Samuel with the Holy Spirit and power.

What about us? Do we have the integrity of Hannah? Do we honor the promises we make to God? What are we teaching our children about service to others and to the Lord? Are we willing to give our beloved children back to God to work in his service?

It is my prayer that every child learns to readily respond to God's call as faithful Samuel did: "Here I am, Lord." Serving others is the way to a joyful life and a heart filled with love for the Lord!

My Mom Identity

This past weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to go visit my dear friend and old college roommate. 

Alone. Like by myself alone, without my children.

This was kind of a big, exciting, hairy deal! While I've done this a handful of times before, it is always a welcome treat, especially for this 34 week pregnant mom of a two and four year old. (I'm tired just typing that!) 

We started our time together by going to a sappy movie which required kleenex, of course. We went for a nice quiet walk in the morning. We went to brunch where I enjoyed both my meal and my chai latte while it was warm. We perused a resale shop without fear of anything being shattered. We meandered the crowded farmer's market without losing anyone. We got pedicures, shopped and lounged. It was a very relaxing evening and day, and time well savored. 

Isn't it nice to take off the mom hat every now and then? 

I love my children dearly. In fact, I probably talked about them most of the time I was gone. But sometimes I just need a break from being mom. 

Becoming a mother was simultaneously one of the most amazing moments of my life but also one of the most life changing as well. While I gained a huge part of myself that I didn't know I could even be, I also in a sense, lost a lot of who I was. I often will catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and try to keep a straight face. Do I laugh or cry at what I see? I'm not really sure what to do sometimes! When did I become this woman who rarely fixes her hair? When did I stop really caring about what I was wearing, much less if there was a giant snot streak on my sleeve? When was it deemed acceptable to forget to brush my teeth? 

I kind of lost part of myself when I became a mom. 

I'm sure those of you who are mothers have felt the same way at least once. It is a huge adjustment to go from no kids to having kids. Things that once were a priority in life no longer are or can be. Hobbies change.  Careers change. 

Life changes.

However, one thing never changes.

I am a daughter of the King. I am a child of God. I am my Heavenly Father's.

I may have feelings of identity loss throughout my entire life. Life naturally progresses from being a child, to an adult, to an adult with a career, to getting married, to being married with kids, to being married with older children, to being an empty nester, to becoming a grandparent, to being widowed.  We are sure to lose ourselves every now and then throughout that process. What a comfort to know that God is always there as our provider and protector. He knows our struggles and weaknesses. He guides us through life's changes and gives us the strength, courage, patience, comfort or whatever we need to keep walking through our journey of life. He is always our Father, and we his children. 

Children of the heavenly Father safely in his bosom gather; Nestling bird or star in heaven such a refuge never was given.

God his own doth tend and nourish; In his holy courts they flourish. From all evil things he spares them; In his mighty arms he bears them.

Neither life nor death shall ever from the Lord his children sever; Unto them his grace he showeth, And their sorrows all he knoweth.

Though he giveth or he taketh, God his children never forsaketh; His the loving purpose solely to preserve them pure and holy. 

CW 449

Moments in the Word for Moms // Book Review

Momentsintheword The past number of weeks have been a bit of crazy town for me. Between Lent and Easter, planning Out of the Nest (hope to see you Friday!), and growing a baby internally while also keeping my two other babies alive externally, I haven't had a whole lot of extra time. I don't always have an exact routine when it comes to studying the Bible or devotions. I often do a short daily devotion and then try to read a bit in my Bible every week, usually the readings for the upcoming Sunday. During this super busy season, Moments in the Word for Moms by Melissa Berg was exactly what I needed to get little snippets during those hectic days.

"Being still means having peace on the inside, in our hearts, even while the storm continues to rage all around us."

These devotions are laid out very simply-- they begin with a scripture reference, followed by a short, five minute devotion and end with some questions to get you really thinking about what you just read and finally a prayer. Here are a few reasons why I loved these devotions:

 

  1. Completely applicable. It happened more than a handful of times that the devotion for that day was exactly what I needed to read during that moment.
  2. Easy reading. These were quick devotions. I was able to be interrupted by my kids (wiping a tiny tush, finding lost pants, etc.) and easily pick right back up where I had been reading. This doesn't mean the content wasn't deep or too fluffy, just that I was able to easily focus and remember.
  3. Thoughts for the Day. This section was following the devotion right before the prayer. She really hits the nail on the head with the questions she asks you to contemplate.
  4. Scripture reference. If I didn't have anything else planned and was a little short on time for the day, it was super easy to make this devotion into a short Bible study. I simply would read the entire chapter that the scripture reference came from instead of just reading that verse.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for short devotions and you are a mom, this is a great resource for you! I've enjoyed it immensely and will likely reread it in a few months.

 

BeckySig2

 *This devotional was provided free of charge in exchange for my honest review.*